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Thread: Puppy not keen on walks in the morning

  1. #1

    Default Puppy not keen on walks in the morning

    Hi all,

    Just signed up to this forum as it seems to have a wealth of knowledge.

    On the 6th, my wife and I rescued an 8 week puppy from an Animal shelter:

    She's a Staffy cross Border Collie (we think) and she is a lovely little dog.

    She started of very shy but she is getting quite comfortable with her new environment now which is great.

    One issue I am having with her is that she doesn't seem keen on walks, particularly in the morning.

    I leave for work fairly early so I like to take her for a 15-20min walk at 6:30.

    But, she is all happy until I open the front door. Then the trouble begins.

    She just sits and refuses to move, even if I give her a tug on the collar.

    First I tried carrying her a few houses down and then putting her down but again, she sits straight away and won't have a bar of it.

    Even when I get to the park and take take her off her leash she still just sits refusing to move an inch in any direction other than back towards the house.

    If I start back towards the house she breaks out into a run.

    The odd thing is that when we first got her, she was quite happy to come along for a quick walk.

    The other reason I am worries is because I noticed she was knuckling over ever so slightly which I read is causes by having puppies on hard/polished floors (we have floorboards) and diet. We have adjusted her diet already and this has helped, but I want to take her on walks as much as possible in the grassy park as running around on grass helps build strenght in her little joints.

    The only thing I haven't tried is to take a toy with me, but considering even her favorite treats don't lure her from her stubborn sitting protest, I'm not sure this will help.

    Is it normal for puppies to not what to leave the house THIS much?

    It's not the leash as we can put that on her inside and in the backyard was she is happy and running around. Just as soon as we try to go on a walk.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2


    Firstly good on you for rescuing and what a cutie.

    Stop taking her to the dog park - you don't know what other dogs have been there if they are vaccinated or not, if they have been sick or not. I always advocate getting young pups out and about but Never in dog parks, too much risk, especially with parvo being so bad this year.

    She is still quite young, I would just get her used to the leash around your house, ie clip it on and let her drag it along, pick it up and hold it and give her lots of treats for this. Once she is a little bit older and comfortable wearing her collar and leash then start to take her on little walks. Make them fun and rewarding.

    I would probably not be worrying about walking her too much, try to get her out for socialisation but walks are not necessary at this age.
    Take her to Bunnings or the Shopping centre, let her sit on your lap and have people give her treats and pats, that sort of thing.

    I would also get her booked in for some puppy classes, they are good socialisation and a great help to you for issues such as above. Make sure you do your research though and choose a place that has qualified trainers who use positive reinforcement not aversives/compulsion.

    Not sure where you are based, if you let us know your general area I am sure someone can recommend a good training company.

  3. #3


    Oh she is gorgeous - and - soooo tiny !

    I think you are expecting way too much from this tiny little one. I think the guidelines are something like 5 mins for every month of life after the 8 week old period - so expecting a half hour walk from her in that big scary world outside your yard - at this time is way too much.

    You haven't had her very long and so I think it is far more important spending time bonding with the pup through play and you being a loon in the backyard with her. Find your inner child and play with her. You can start teaching her things like sit and the rest - but only in little time frames - they had the attention span of an gnat - and also because they are still so young - she will sleep a lot.

    I also would be very careful where I was taking her because all her injections would not have been completed by this stage. The last thing you want is a very sick little puppy.

    Spend the time with her, get her to meet heaps of people at your place - if that is possible and get her to meet only friendly and fully vaccinated dogs or pups. Socialising your pup is really important - but it should be done with care and thought.

    Have you investigated puppy kindy yet ?

    Most important thing - have fun !

  4. #4


    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Yeah, the original plan was that we where going to rescue on dog and get a pure breed Staffy, I've always wanted a Staffy. But the wife saw this little one at a pound (4 hours way mind you) and we got her.

    She's had her first round of shots but I will avoid the park for now in regards to the parvo. Her 2nd round is on the 25th I think.

    The wife and the puppy are attached at the hip so whereever the wifes goes, shopping, visiting friends etc the puppy is there. So she is getting well sociallised with people. We are looking into puppy schools. We are in Cranbourne and there is one run by best friend pets but we they are waiting until they have 6 puppies before they run it.

    Thanks for the advice, I will try putting the leash on her and letting her run around the house.

    She is pretty good with being on the leash, but the "outside the house" that seems to spook her.

    I will just to a lap of the block maybe instead.

    It's our first puppy so we're not quite sure how much we should be exposing her to the world and teaching her.

    When I was a kid, we rescued a 12month Rotti, family had smalls kids and the poor bugger didn't know his size so the family needed him gone. Anyway, long story short is that they didn't socialize/train him enough as a pup and he was a little (read:huge) terror. Never got on with other dogs even though we put him in puppy school and all. it also took us ages to train him up.

    So I'm just mindful to not end up sheltering little Sophie too much at her young, impressionable age so she grows up well adjusted.

    We've pretty much got "Sit" covered, we've regressed a little on the "Come here" front but we definately understand "No!"

    But I don't know if she should know more at this age or if we are on track. It's a minefield! Just as is puppy food. *tears hair out*

  5. #5


    At this age the most important thing is socialisation. Things like sit, drop, stand etc are easy to teach at any age so don't stress about them. The more you expose her to the better (so long as it is done in a responsible manner ie: no dog parks, nowhere unvaccinated dogs could have been, no interaction with dogs that may be aggressive). Shopping and visits to friends are great, get her to the groomer so she gets used to it. Lots of handling exercises so she gets used to people touching her ears, paws, tail, mouth etc etc. And make sure it is all positive experiences so make sure she is getting lots of treats while you are at it.

    In regards to Come, most people accidentally poisen the cue by calling the dog to do things the dog finds aversive such as giving them tablets, baths, cuddles (trust me dogs DO NOT like cuddles unless initiated by them, we call them Rape cuddles), pats on the head (they dont like head pats, on the back of the neck, behind ears or under the neck are much more enjoyable). So STOP calling her for things she doesn't enjoy now and go and get her for them, and then make Come the most rewarding word in all the world, lots of treats and fun things.

    Food - I totally get where you are coming from its daunting. Personally I would avoid all the usual brands of dry food, none of them are good for your dog, most are like feeding your dog Maccas constantly. I would look into a raw food diet.
    Here are some good links
    BARF Australia - Home of Dr Billinghurst's biologically appropriate raw food for restoring animal wellness
    Dr Bruces Vets All Natural - Natural Pet Products, Healthy Pets - Home

    This website is great because it is non affiliated and is run by the Boxer Club of America. You can search any dog food made and see what it in it and why it is good or bad (based on the ingredients).
    Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble

  6. #6



    Yeah, been doing lots of reading about the "Come here" command.

    She mainly gets called for cuddles, feeding time, more cuddles or playtime. When we are playing I also call her randomly to give her cuddles and pats and then let her go back to playing.

    Something else I read was to only ever call her twice. So call her once, if she comes give lots of attention and a treat, if she doesn't come on the first call the second is a bit louder, if she comes then she gets a good girl but no treat. Something about this teaching her to come on the first time.

    In regards to the food, we were recommended Hills Science Diet but after some reading I wasn't impressed. Ended up going with Purina Pro Plan Puppy - Lamb and Rice. On the Dog Analysis site is doesn't get a fantastic review but Sophie loves it, she is happy and FULL of energy so it's good enough.

    But yeah, any more advice on the walking front?

    I already know to cut her walk down to 5min, but still need some tips as to how best get her excited about walks in the morning?

    I know she has the energy for them as first think in the morning after breaky she is FULL of beans are ready for action, till the front door opens. Then it's sit and look confused but cute. lol.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I have seen that sitting on bum refusing to move quite often in tiny pups. I assume they just grow out of it and I don't think there's any need to force it. If she gets out and about and gets used to people, other dogs and traffic noises like that, I think that's plenty at this age. For exercise, you can just run around in the bakcyard with her.

    I agree with others that socialisation is the most important thing right now. Next would probably general manners. Things like bite inhibition and not jumping up at people.

    Regarding teaching come, I think at that young age, the best thing you can do is to make sure it ALWAYS earns a reward. So only say it when she is already coming towards you or when you are giving her dinner, etc. For the first couple of months at least, you should avoid calling her when you are not 100% sure that she will come. So no calling her when she is sniffing around or distracted or playing or eating or whatever.

    Good luck! She looks like a real cutie.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Sorry, we posted at the same time.

    "Something else I read was to only ever call her twice. So call her once, if she comes give lots of attention and a treat, if she doesn't come on the first call the second is a bit louder, if she comes then she gets a good girl but no treat. Something about this teaching her to come on the first time."

    That is what I did with my dog. And if she doesn't come after the second call, I go get her and restrain her. But I really think it's a bit too early for that with your dog. You really want to make it only fun, fun, fun for a while. There is plenty of time to teach her later that her response to the come cue is non negotiable, if you know what I mean.

  9. #9


    Awesome... thanks for that. Treats all round it is!

    Thanks a lot, putting my mind at easy that she is not behind in her learning/behaviour. I will relax on the teaching and ramp up on the playing.

    SOOO glad I joined this forum, good advice so quick!

    Thanks all.

  10. #10


    You shouldn't be repeating the cue. Repeating just teaches her she can ignore it the first time and still get rewarded. So in other words she ignores the first one, is rewarding herself doing whatever it is she is doing and then comes the second call and also gets rewarded by you.
    Like Beloz said only call her when she is already coming towards you or you know she will definitely come, set her up to succeed and make it rewarding and then you should only have to call her once.

    I am not sure what you mean when you say cuddles. But if you mean literal cuddles then stop calling her for them, as I have already pointed out dogs don't enjoy cuddles unless initiated by them (ie they come to lie next to you on the couch). Dogs don't cuddle each other, cuddling is a human thing. Calling and then cuddling your dog will poison the cue.

    Re dog food. It isn't all about how your dog feels right now. Many of the really bad side effects of crappy food won't show up until your dog starts into its later years. Things like diseases, cancer, arthritis, joint problems. Just like if we eat crappy foods for our young years we will have health issues as we get older, the same is for dogs. I think you need to take that into consideration as well. You don't just want a dog who is healthy during its early years, you want a dog who makes it through their senior years in good health and who lives as long as possible.

    In regards to walking, just get her excited about the leash and having it on first and then work towards getting her out the door, lots of treats, make it fun, talk to her, coax her, encourage her and feed her treats.

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